Three Ways To Use The Cloud To Mitigate HR Challenges In The Industrial Sector

Courtney Burgy

At the core of every business is its people. Yet many companies in the industrial sector are using human capital management (HCM) systems that don’t meet the demands of their rapidly evolving workplaces. In recent years, industrial leaders have been searching for ways to streamline operations and drive efficiency. Though previously hesitant to implement widespread changes, these leaders are realizing that several of their challenges in human resources (HR) could be alleviated by moving their HCM systems to the cloud.

Move your HR to the cloud

According to ISG, 50% of companies will move their HR to the cloud by 2020. Providing access in a centralized online location that’s updated and maintained by a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider helps address many of the pain points of using on-premises solutions. You simply pay a subscription fee to the provider to keep the software updated and compliant for the countries in which you’re doing business. The SaaS model provides many benefits, such as increased productivity, availability, convenience, and efficiency. 

Use cloud-based HCM to address HR challenges

Now that you know how advantageous moving to the cloud can be, let’s review three ways you can use a cloud-based HCM system to address standardization, localization, and reporting challenges in HR. 

1. Standardize globally

The industrial sector is home to companies with large total workforces spread across country borders. These workforces have grown so quickly that standardization is lacking at the global scale. When an office or plant is launched in a new location, recruiting often occurs in a vacuum. Because a standard template or process wasn’t established at the outset, hiring managers end up creating their own forms and processes based on country-specific regulations.

Implementing a new cloud-based HCM system provides company leaders the opportunity to realign globally and create HR standards for their entire organization. With the cloud, each HR department, no matter where it’s located, has access to the same online tools and services and can follow the same processes for talent acquisition, onboarding and retention.

2. Localize at the country level

As I mentioned before, industrial workforces often extend across multiple countries and are subject to union standards and regulations. Recruiting and onboarding can also be complex due to the large variety of job roles. These characteristics can make standardization at a global level difficult.

Many companies believe the only option when dealing with diverse country-specific requirements is to use decentralized, disparate HR systems. In other words, they implement a completely different solution for each country.

Fortunately, some cloud-based HCM solutions allow users to create standard HR processes across the company and then add country-specific requirements as needed. That way, you can get the best of both worlds. And because SuccessFactors is a modular system, you can pick and choose the capabilities you want to include in the solution.

3. Expedite data gathering and analytics

For many companies with on-premises HR, global reporting is often a time-consuming, manual process because everyone is on different systems. While various information is gathered about each employee over the course of the employee’s career, it can be difficult to organize, search and analyze that data if it isn’t uniform and collected in a single database or program. Often, these systems also lack the kind of up-to-date analytics capabilities that would allow HR departments to gain the insights that would help them to better acquire and retain talent.

Companies can get a more holistic view of their HR in the cloud because everything is in one place. It’s also easier to apply analytics to such cloud-based HCM systems, which can help you make more informed decisions and optimize your HR operations. Performance data can provide a more accurate record of progress, while integration with analytics can point out gaps in learning and opportunities for training. All these advantages can help increase the effectiveness of your HR programs.

Realize the benefits of HR in the cloud

Human resources are the heart and the foundation of every company. By moving your HCM system to the cloud, you can provide your HR department with the right tools to effectivity recruit and retain a strong workforce.

Get the information and help you need to develop and implement a cloud-based HCM solution through SAP SuccessFactors consulting services from IBM. Visit the IBM booth at SuccessConnect in Las Vegas, NV from 11 through 13 September to see demos of SAP SuccessFactors implementations and talk to IBM experts about SAP.


Courtney Burgy

About Courtney Burgy

Courtney is a SuccessFactors Consultant in IBM's Global Business Services division focusing on defining HCM strategy and advising clients on new HR cloud based (SuccessFactors) solutions for large, complex, global and domestic clients. Courtney also specializes in Success Factors content management, accelerators and go-to-market strategy, contributing daily to the management and creation of the practice’s go-to-market materials for conferences, roadshows, social media and proposals. Courtney supports senior leadership in providing a unique vision solution and roadmap for each client specific situation, with an expertise in visualization and optimization of all IBM SuccessFactors content. US administrator for the IBM SuccessFactors global CoE and Blueworks tool.